Manufacturing sales rise 2.3% in December, Statistics Canada says
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OTTAWA — Manufacturing sales exceeded expectations for a second consecutive month in December, rising 2.3 per cent to $53.5 billion, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.
The growth was primarily fuelled by higher sales of transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products. Sales of transportation equipment rose 7.4 per cent to $11.2 billion, while sales in the petroleum and coal products industry were up 11.6 per cent to $5.2 billion — the highest since July 2015.
Analysts had estimated growth of 0.2 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.
Overall, sales were up in eight of the 21 manufacturing industries tracked.
Statistics Canada also revised its November manufacturing sales figures to $52.27 billion, up from its initial report of $51.8 billion.
"This was generally a really good report, cementing the notion that despite a difficult several months, the Canadian manufacturing sector is ending 2016 on a solid note," TD senior economist Michael Dolega wrote in a commentary.
"Having said that, there remains quite a lot of uncertainties as far as the manufacturing and export sector is concerned," Dolega added, noting U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The increases were concentrated in Ontario (up 2.3 per cent to $25.6 billion) and Quebec (up 4.1 per cent to $12.8 billion). Four other provinces also rose. British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. experienced declines.